Are you cool with hugs? What about the most all-encompassing hug you’ve ever had? That just about sums up how Disney Research’s new force feedback jacket works. Using inflatable airbags, it can simulate physical experiences when you’re lost in VR, such as getting hit by a snowball, or turning into a muscular beefcake in just a few seconds.
The jacket’s sleeves and body are lined with a series of small airbags, each connected to a computer-controlled air source. Instead of all inflating at once like the airbag in your car, they instead inflate in specific sequences to simulate a touch or squeezing sensation on the wearer’s body.
You’d probably be a lot more cautious playing a first-person shooter game if you felt every shot hitting your body, which this jacket can simulate. But if you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to suddenly grow muscles all over your body, this is probably an accurate recreation of what it’s like to be Bruce Banner hulk-ing out. I can already see the lines forming for Walt Disney World’s new Incredible Hulk experience.